World’s Smallest Butterfly
Location: Hawthorne, CA
November 7, 2011 11:27 pm
I was able to identify this tiny guy (about the size of a bottle fly) out at Bugguide today and thought I’d share it with you. It sat for about fifteen minutes feeding on the Bishops Flowers in the back yard. Such a little beauty. I’ve read it is the world’s smallest butterfly.
Signature: Thanks, Anna Carreon
Your photos of a Western Pygmy Blue, Brephidium exilis, are quite lovely. Thanks so much for supplying our site with this new species and a statistic as well. According to Charles Hogue in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin: “This is one of the world’s smallest butterflies; the wing expanse of even the largest individuals barely exceeds 1/2 inch (13 mm). … The Pygmy Blue is seen mainly in wild areas, especially where the salt-loving food plants grow – in alkaline valleys and flats, in coastal salt marshes, and along beach bluffs.” Jeffrey Glassberg, in his book Butterflies Through Binoculars The West, writes: “The smallest butterfly in North America.” According to BugGuide, the Western Pygmy Blue is ” The smallest butterfly in our area.” We are not certain where your smallest butterfly in the world statistic came from.
Thanks for the compliment. I read about it being the smallest in the world in a few places, none of them specialists in butterflies. I used that subject title because I was sure it would catch your eye!
Ed. Note: We wonder how it was determined that the Western Pygmy Blue is the smallest butterfly in North America. Was it an average? or perhaps, was it the smallest individual documented?